Isthmic spondylolisthesis, which is demonstrated in 4%-6% of the general population, is one of the most common types of spondylolisthesis. However, double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis is extremely rare. Only a few reports have examined the outcomes of surgical treatment of double-level spondylolisthesis.
Between 2004 and 2014, thirty-two patients with double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with autogenous bone chips were reviewed retrospectively. The clinical outcomes were measured by VAS (Visual analog scale) and JOA (Japanese Orthopaedic Association) score.
At an average follow-up of 2.8 years, the mean score on the VAS of back pain and sciatica decreased from 6.48 and 4.26 points preoperatively to 1.82 and 1.10 points at final follow-up, respectively. The average JOA score improved from 13.8±3.1 preoperative to 25.6±1.3 (range, 17-28) points postoperative. The average recovery rate was 77.6%. The good and excellent rate was 84.3% (27/32). The fusion rate was 87.5% (28/32). Changes in disc height, degree of listhesis, whole lumbar lordosis, and sacral inclination between the pre- and postoperative periods were significant.
The findings suggest that PLIF with autogenous bone chips for double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis could yield good functional short-term results. It seems to be a viable approach in the treatment of double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis 1).
Fifty-four patients who were managed surgically for treatment of double-level symptomatic isthmic spondylolisthesis were included in this study. Between May 2004 and September 2012, 29 consecutive patients underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with autogenous bone chips (group I) at Foshan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong, China. Between March 2005 and December 2013, 25 consecutive patients underwent PLIF with cage (group II) at Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangdong, China. The mean follow-up periods were 27.2 and 26.8 months, respectively.
The mean VAS scores of back and leg pain significantly decreased from 7.2 to 2.2 and 5.8 to 2.1 in the group I and from 7.0 to 1.9 and 6.1 to 1.8 in the group II, respectively. In the group I, mean ODI scores improved significantly from 54% to 14.2% and, in the group II, from 60% to 12.6%. In both groups, VAS and ODI scores significantly changed from pre- to postoperatively (p<0.001), but postoperative outcome between groups was statistically not significant. Solid union was observed in 27 of 29 patients (89.6%) in the group I and in 22 of 25 patients (88%) in the group II, without statistically significant differences (p>0.05). In both groups, changes in disc height, degree of listhesis, and whole lumbar lordosis between the pre- and postoperative periods were significant.
Clinical and functional outcomes demonstrate no significant differences between groups in treating back and leg pain of adult patients with double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis 2).
To the best of Kim et al. knowledge, there has been no report regarding rheumatoid arthritis associated with spinal neuroarthropathy and combined double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis.
They report a rare case of spinal neuroarthropathy with double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis in a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient. A 56-year-old female patient under medical treatment for RA during the last 13 years presented aggravating radiating pain to her right lower extremity and a limping gait developed 4 months ago. The disease activity of RA had remained low for a long time. Serial radiographs during last 8-year follow-up showed progressive dislocation at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis and severe destructive status at the last follow-up. The patient underwent decompression and circumferential fusion with sacropelvic fixation and acceptable reduction was obtained.
A RA patient with double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis showed a progressive destructive lesion. In addition to clinical presentations, the imaging findings were very similar to ones of spinal neuroarthropathy. The authors conclude that this Grand Round case probably had SNA secondary to RA and that this, combined with two-level isthmic spondylolisthesis, resulted in her rapidly progressing destructive lumbar lesion 3).
Song et al. present an unusual case of double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine. The patient had low-back pain for 20 years and did not respond to conservative treatment. Radiographs revealed bilateral pars defects at L-4 and L-5. Grade 2 isthmic spondylolisthesis was present, both at L4-5 and at L5-S1. The patient underwent decompression, reduction, and posterior lumbar interbody fusion with autogenous bone chips from posterior decompression. At follow-up after 12 months, the patient was free of pain, slippage was corrected, and fusion was achieved. Posterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior instrumentation and reduction may yield good functional short-term results for double-level spondylolisthesis 4).
An unusual case of a double-level isthmic spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine in a 38-year-old female was described. The patient had been suffering from low back pain for 8 years and did not respond to conservative treatment. Her medical examination revealed that grade II isthmic spondylolisthesis was present both at L-4 to L-5 and at L-5 to S-1. The patient was managed by surgical treatment. After the reduction of lysthesis with posterior instrumentation, posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) technique was performed for double level. At a recent follow-up, 1 year after the surgery, the symptoms of the patient were completely resolved, reduction was preserved, and fusion was achieved. PLIF with posterior instrumentation and reduction seems to be a convenient treatment option in the treatment for double-level spondylolisthesis 5).